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Monday, January 23, 2012

My Evolving Living Room

Here is how my living room looks now.  Want to see how we got there?

I am always playing around with furniture and accessories in my home.  I don't think a week goes by when I don't make a change or two.  But sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to where changes are needed in your home.  When MoS Washington came to visit last weekend, I told her that my living room felt a bit busy and cluttered.  There were too many small pieces of art on the walls and too many small pieces of furniture.

The room felt disorganized and was not relaxing.  This is an old pic- I have since replaced the coffee table with a beautiful midcentury table from my grandmother, switched the lamps around, replaced the rug, and painted the directoire table glass black.  But you get the idea.  Too much stuff everywhere, too incohesive.

MoS Washington agreed (in the most polite manner possible), and we got to work, with the goal of re-decorating using only pieces I already had in my home.  We took ALL of the art off the walls and put it in a pile on the floor.  We moved MOST of the furniture out of the room.  There were some limits as to what we could do because the piano had to stay where it was, but other than that, we started fresh. 

The biggest change we made was moving the slipper chairs away from the blue molding wall and floating them in the middle of the room, facing each other.  It really opened up the room.  We also put most of the art and all of the small occasional chairs and tables in storage.  Each piece I kept must be deliberate and meaningful.

We then moved the Jean-Michele Frank upholstered waterfall console table from my basement to the center of the blue molding wall.  It is a gorgeous piece, and it was a shame to have it hidden downstairs.  We played around with different lamps and accessories, but overall we decided to keep things really simple.

I formerly had a West Elm butler's tray serving as a bar in the corner.  It is a versatile piece that I will probably use somewhere, but it just wasn't right for the room.  And the botanical prints weren't doing anything for this wall, so they too are now in storage.

The bar has been replaced by my desk.  I am loving my Craigslist brass chiavari chair, and the paintings are of Segovia, Spain, where my husband and I went on a trip.  The desk is from the Habitat store, and the chinoiserie brass lamp is from a church rummage sale

Even though most of the basics stayed the same, changing the layout, art, and accessories makes it feel like a new room to me.  It is more symmetrical, cohesive, and soothing.

I replaced the small pieces of art with a larger single piece to make the blue wall feel more unified and deliberate.

My one new purchase for the room is this abstract piece, from my friend Laura Park at Cotswold Marketplace.  She has lots of well-priced, gorgeous abstract pieces for sale in her booth there.

I am still searching for the perfect pair of benches to place under the waterfall table (these came from my bedroom, serving as placeholders until I find the perfect pair). 

My room feels so much bigger, and now I actually want to spend time in my living room! 

If you live in the Charlotte area and need some help creating a beautiful and comfortable home for your family, email me at!  


the Queen City Style said...

It looks wonderful!! I just yesterday went on a shopping excursion for new accessories... pillows, lamps, pops of color and have been in a massive stage of de cluttering! It looks like you may live in a rancher, like me... Last night I actually moved my two chairs to face each other just like yours, and I hope to find to X-benches to put opposite the sofa! It is a sunken living room, so makes things a tad tricky, though I adore it. I am taking note of your cane chair with cushion in the corner.. I have a small console there now... did not think of my one "odd" occasional chair to go there.. thanks for the idea! I hope to share pics soon. Oh, and that console you have is AMAZING! AND, thanks for the tip on the artwork at Cotswold!

Fondly, Whitley Adkins Hamlin

Nicole Lanteri said...

It looks great! Fun to move things around using what you have.

980SCLAWAG said...

I love it! Can't wait to see it in person!!!

Kim@Chattafabulous said...

Isn't it amazing how you can transform your space with the things you already have? Looks great, ladies!

Louisa said...

It looks great! If you're willing to share, I'd love to know the fabric that is on the two slipper chairs. Thanks so much!


Wow, you did a great job. The fabrics and patterns are absolutely gorgeous! Must feel like a whole new space! Great job


Jenn @ Living Luxe for Less said...

It looks absolutely fabulous! You both are so talented! I will definitely be contacting you...I need help!

Anonymous said...

I love how it all comes together. And that many of the pieces have a story. Those creative juices were flowing. Congrats on job well done.

Amy Vermillion @ Martineau Vermillion Interior Design said...

Fantastic Sarah! Looks really great!
Hope all is well,

Anonymous said...

WOW, Really well done. Try painting the drywall above and below your windows with the same paint as your trim. Use painters tape straight up from the edge of your moulding, then remove after paint is dry. The drapery will hide the edge. Your windows will look taller and have more importance. Imagine if you had sheers in the same place, you would take the sheers up to the crown moulding. In fact I always have my painter paint white top and bottom so the wall color doesn't telescope through the sheers. You can add a bas relief garland or urh painted the same as the trim if you find the surface too plain. Hal Happersett, Interior Decisions

Dayka said...

there;s nothing better than a makeover with stuff you already have. nice job (love that waterfall console)!!!!

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